... a sophisticated story about the meaning of life and love in a life fortunate enough to last into its ninth decade ... tender but unsentimental ... In the economical style that’s characteristic of his prose, Begley effectively portrays Hugo’s dilemma as he weighs the choice between radiation therapy and allowing the disease to proceed unimpeded ... Begley’s resolution of Hugo’s rekindled affair after he returns to New York on the eve of the 'conceited, malevolent asshole' Donald Trump’s election is abrupt, but true to the novel’s frank, if often wistful, tone ... While it may have less appeal to readers whose twilight years still stretch out over the horizon, anyone in or about to enter life’s final decades will find in it both amusement and truth.
Wily and adept, Begley continued to conduct his signature droll and exacting dissection of the privileges and torments of the wealthy ... With discerning, amusing, and cutting commentary on everything from food and wine to politics, sex, and the right to die with dignity, Begley seduces and provokes with fiercely urbane wit.
Reading like a personal diary, free of quotation marks, the book unfolds with self-effacing charm. Returning to the comfort of domestic fiction following a trio of mysteries, the 86-year-old Begley turns in a spry, unerringly smooth performance. As self-absorbed as he is, Hugo wins us over with his indefatigability. Lacking a meaningful connection to his personal adventures, the political commentary in the background is mere window dressing. But the novel's late-term spirit never flags ... A sharply amusing novel in which an octogenarian pundit rediscovers his past.